How To Start A Hobby Farm That You Don’t Want To Quit

Let me give you a quick word of advice before I tell you how to start a hobby farm.

THE BIGGEST issue people have and why they fail or give up on their hobby farm is this

They get all the animals, try to grow all the things, and end up burnt out. Physically, mentally, and monetarily.

Don’t jump the gun and start with intention.

It’s not to say you can’t have fun right away. I want you to love what you do with your hobby farm. The saying “everything in moderation” applies to this too.

how to start a hobby farm intro image

Wondering: Should I Start A Hobby Farm?

Honestly, no one can decide that but you. But here are some things that you need to realize before you go getting animals or planting all the plants that tickle your fancy.

  • Animals still need care in the dead of winter, when you’re feeling sick, and on the days that you just don’t want to.
  • Having a garden and growing things get you off the hook about 50% of the year however the garden still needs to be weeded and tended to In the heat of the summer and on the weeks when you want to go take a vacation. None of these things are easy and take a lot of work. Are you ready for it? Cuz that is how you’re going to answer the question if you should start a hobby farm.
chicks in a brooder

What’s The Difference Between Hobby Farming & Homesteading?

Honestly, the only difference between farming and homesteading is the level of seriousness people take.

A hobby farm is something that someone takes a little less seriously and isn’t looking to get a livelihood from what they produce. The occasional fresh snacks from the garden are a treat and they may not even eat the meat that they could produce.

Homesteaders depend on the amount they can produce to feed their families. Even if they can’t do enough for the whole year. A large portion of their meals are homegrown.

Also, homesteaders do a lot more of the work themselves. They will preserve any food that they make and sometimes go as far as making things like their own flower.

But in all honesty, it’s what you want to raise not what other people think. You should do what level of hobby farming makes you happy and excited.

What are the cons of starting a hobby farm?

  • Animal Care: You have to find someone willing to care for the animals you have when you go on vacation or longer than 24 hours. It’s not the same as taking a dog to a kennel and unfortunately, not many people are comfortable around farm animals.
  • Gardens: They still need watered tended all through the summer in warm months going on vacation without anyone there to tend it will likely leave you coming back to an overgrown weed patch and wilted plants.
  • Expense: Hobby farms can be as expensive or affordable as you want to make it. You have to be the one to set the budget and the boundaries to say yes we can do this or know this is too expensive. Set up a budget and be willing to DIY and bootstrap as much as you can.
leah lynch feeding the rabbits

Be Realistic In Your Expectations

The more high-level you go the more work it’s going to take.

It makes me laugh but feel sorry for people who expect themselves to do everything. From making their own bread to raising meat chickens and growing a year’s worth of vegetables. All the while still going to work and keeping their kids alive.

You might find this hard to believe but honest to God you can’t do everything.

When we think of “pioneers” or in the early 1800s when people did do all of those things and before manufacturing was a thing. It was their JOB they weren’t leaving to go make money at a 9-5.

So give yourself some grace in that area.

All in all, really take a look at the lifestyle you want to have before you buy or try to get started doing anything with a hobby farm.

young rabbits

Start with a plan. Period the end

Take the time to skim through blogs, magazines, books, and catalogs. Know what your idea of a hobby farm is. Have goals and a purpose to what you’re doing.

You don’t have to make a vision board if you just want to raise chickens and have a small garden. Buuuut if you have a big vision then yes I think having a visual picture is a good idea.

You can make a Pinterest board or write it out in a notebook. Whatever works for you. But do something that will give you an “at a glance” picture of what you want to have on your hobby farm will help you stay focused. It will also help you recognize when you’ve hit the goal you’ve been working towards.

[lasso type=”list” category=”homesteading-books” link_id=”3732″]

When you don’t know what you’re working towards you will end up with more work than you ever thought possible. And more animals than you have the budget to pay for.

Those cute babies end up to be grown adult animals quicker than you will realize. When you know what you’re working towards and what your end goals are you can stick to that and not get distracted by shiny objects or that pretty chicken that you just can’t say no to at the farm supply store.

Leah holiding a planner

Start Slow

It’s not a rush to see how quickly you can get all of your farm animals that you want to have. Or how many square feet you can make your garden before June.

Having a hobby farm is about enjoying the process and relaxation.

If you are starting in a new warm season then you have a little bit of time to start with one maybe two projects.

Pick your favorite or top two that you would like to see done this year. If you can’t decide, start with the one that would cost you the least amount of money to get started.

hen standing in the grass

Be Flexible With What You Choose To Raise

When it comes to hobby farming there are many different options. You can raise animals such as bees, meat chickens, or heritage turkeys, or explore alternative crops. Each option has its pros and cons. 

If you’re considering raising animals, bees can provide honey and pollination services, meat chickens offer a quick turnaround for profits and meat for the freezer, and heritage turkeys can be a niche market with high demand.

BUT, growing alternative crops like lavender or mushrooms can be a unique way to diversify your farm’s income.

It’s important to remember that it’s okay to change your mind and experiment with different options. What works for one farm may not work for another, so it’s important to consider what is right for you and your land.

Making the decision to specialize in something can be difficult, and it’s important to recognize that just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s not the right option for you. It just means you may have to work to get good at it.

It’s okay to try different options and see what works best for you and your farm in the long run.

Leah lynch standing in front of a chicken coop

It Takes Time to Become a Hobby Farmer

Becoming a hobby farmer is an exciting endeavor, but it’s important to understand the time and commitment required to make a successful transition. Embracing the rhythms of the farm and adjusting to a new relationship with work is an important aspects of this lifestyle change.

For retirees looking to start a hobby farm, remember to take things slow and not to overwhelm yourself with too many responsibilities at once. Young people may need to find a balance between their career and their new farming duties. Stay-at-home moms with kids can involve their children in the process, teaching them important life skills while managing their farm BUT keep in mind that it is still a lot of work to manage while raising humans. 

To transition smoothly into a hobby farmer, start by setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself. — know yourself and what you value. Do you like peace and space in your calendar? Or are you ok with a little chaos?

 Prioritize your time and learn to be flexible with your schedule. It’s also crucial to seek out a farming community of fellow hobby farmers for support and advice. Even if they are online.

With dedication and proper planning, it’s possible to successfully balance a career with the responsibilities of a hobby farm. But add one piece in at a time. Don’t expect yourself to land on your feet with a complete life change.

What Do I Need to Start a Hobby Farm?

If you’re looking to start a hobby farm, there are a few essential tools you’ll need to get started, no matter what type of farm you’re planning to create. If you’re interested in growing fruit and vegetables, you’ll need basic gardening tools like a shovel, hoe, rake, and watering can. For keeping livestock, you’ll need items like a fence, feeding troughs, and shelter. If you’re considering beekeeping, you’ll need a hive, protective gear, and a smoker.

When considering the size of your hobby farm, it’s important to do research on how much land is required for the type of livestock you want to raise. If you’re planning to grow vegetables or sell eggs, it’s often recommended to start small and expand as you gain experience.

Starting a hobby farm can be a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor, but it’s important to have the right tools and resources to get started. With a little research and preparation, you’ll be well on your way to creating the country lifestyle of your dreams.

french lop rabbit

First Steps To Starting A Hobby Farm

There are a few key factors to consider before diving in. First, take a good look at the size of your property.

Do you have enough space to accommodate the type of farm you want? If not this is the time to set realistic expectations. You’ll also want to consider your available time and resources. Starting a hobby farm is a commitment, so make sure you have the time and energy to devote to it.

Next, think about what types of livestock or crops you are interested in. Different animals and plants require different levels of care and attention, so choose ones that align with your interests and capacity.

It’s also crucial to research local regulations and zoning laws. You want to make sure that your hobby farm is compliant with all legal requirements. This could include restrictions on the number of animals you can have, the types of structures you can build, especially if you are within the city limits.

Set Your Start-Up Budget

Starting a hobby farm can be an exciting and daunting experience. One of the most important steps in getting your hobby farm off the ground is setting a budget. This will help you plan and allocate your resources effectively, allowing you to navigate the financial aspect of your hobby farm with clarity and confidence.

Here are some essential steps to help you set your start-up budget.

1. Assess Your Needs: Before diving into the numbers, take the time to assess your hobby farm needs. Consider everything from livestock, garden setup, and equipment to building a structure. This will help you determine the necessary expenses for getting your business up and running.

2. Calculate Your Fixed Costs: Fixed costs are the essential expenses that stay constant each month, such as feed, seed, and price-out equipment. Calculate these costs to get a clear understanding of the minimum amount of money you will need to get your hobby farm operating.

3. Estimate Your Variable Costs: Variable costs are the expenses that fluctuate depending on your farm activity, such as the feeding of spring, buying supplies, and sometimes things just break down. Estimating these costs will give you a better idea of how your expenses may change as your business grows.

4. Consider One-Time Expenses: In addition to your ongoing costs, don’t forget to account for any one-time expenses, such as buying livestock or equipment that will last.

Setting a start-up budget is a fundamental step in the sustainability of your hobby farm. You don’t want to jump in a realize you don’t have the cash to finish a project.

a calculator

Create Sinking Funds

Sinking funds are a great way to set money aside for specific financial goals. Whether it’s saving for a new farm project (for me a Highlander cow) repairs or some piece of equipment to make your life easier, having sinking funds in place can help you stay on track with your financial goals.

Start by listing out the different sinking funds you want to create. Once you have your list, allocate specific amounts to each fund based on your financial goals. THIS SPREADSHEET ON ETSY really helped me have all of my sinking funds in one account and know what the total amount needed to be in savings to hit those goals.

By setting up sinking funds, you can effectively plan for future expenses and avoid being caught off guard.  It’s a great way to take control of your finances and work towards achieving your financial goals. So start creating your sinking funds today and start saving for the things that matter most to you.

DIY As Much As You Can Yourself

Owning a hobby farm can be a rewarding experience, both in terms of personal satisfaction and potential income. One way to save money and increase your earnings is by taking on various tasks yourself.

From building structures like barns and coops to growing your own food and raising animals, there are numerous ways to cut costs and maximize your profits. By doing these tasks yourself, you can avoid hiring outside help and save on labor expenses.

To ensure that you are being as cost-effective and efficient as possible, it’s important to research the most effective DIY methods for tasks such as repairs, construction, and maintenance. This might involve learning new skills, using the right tools, and finding the best materials for the job.

Ultimately, the more you can do yourself on your hobby farm, the more money you can save and the more potential income you can generate. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to tackle those tasks DIY style!

Don’t Forget Your Monthly Expenses Budget

Keeping track of your monthly expenses is an important step to not creating a country lifestyle you can’t keep up with. It’s really easy to start adding this animal and that animal to your hobby farm but then forget that it adds up. 

Start by listing all of your monthly expenses, then look at how much you have left over. This will help you know what type of projects you can do on your farm for the time being. 

This will help you see where your money is going each month and make adjustments as needed. Trust me. The short amount of fun bringing on a new animal will be dimmed by the financial stress it will bring.

Tracking your expenses is crucial to staying within your budget. There are plenty of apps and tools available to help you keep track of your spending, which can make the process easier and more manageable. Remember, every little bit adds up, so staying on top of your budget is KEY to not burning out on your country lifestyle

Do What You Can Right Where You Are

You don’t have to have your entire hobby farm set up right away and you certainly don’t need to have the perfect property. If you have a patio that gets 6+ hours of light grow herbs in pots. Or have hanging baskets off of your porch. 

If you have a small backyard that allows chickens you can have three hens and get farm fresh eggs every morning. There are lots of ways to do little things that get you closer to your dream goals. It just may take a little creativity and a willingness to get your hands dirty.

Choose one or two things that you really want to do and see what can you do to get to that goal even in a small way.

How Can I Make Money from a Hobby Farm?

If you’re looking to turn your hobby farm into a source of income, it’s important to approach it as a business rather than just a fun pastime. Making intentional choices based on profit potential, instead of what seems cute or fun, is key.

But once you are looking into having a farm for profit you are starting a farm business. It’s no longer a hobby. So you have to decide if you are ready to make the shift.

There are several ways to make money from a hobby farm, including selling eggs, honey, seeds, or compost, and providing horseback riding lessons.

However, one of the most profitable options is selling microgreens. Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are harvested just a few weeks after germination. They are incredibly popular with health-conscious consumers and chefs, making them a high-demand, high-profit product.

So, if you’re serious about making money from your hobby farm, consider the potential of selling microgreens. It’s a lucrative option that can help you turn your passion into a profitable business.

Similar Posts